British man, 65, charged with possession of gay sex video in Uganda

Bernard Randall
Bernard Randall

A retired British man has appeared in court in Uganda accused of possessing a gay sex video.

Bernard Randall, originally from Faversham, Kent, denies a charge of trafficking obscene publications.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda and Mr Randall faces a possible two-year prison sentence if found guilty.

The 65-year-old is charged alongside his friend Albert Cheptoyek, 30, a Ugandan national with whom he shares a house,


Mr Cheptoyek has denied a more serious charge of carrying out "acts of gross indecency", which could see him jailed for up to seven years if found guilty.

Mr Randall was arrested after thieves stole a laptop from his house. Stills from a video on it then appeared in a tabloid.

'Horrifying experience'

The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga in Entebbe, Uganda, said: "Bernard Randall was visibly shaken when he arrived at the small town court this morning.

"He described the experience as horrifying. Once inside the hearing was quick. Randall's legal team asked for the case to be adjourned whilst a complaint they made about the handling of his case is dealt with.

"The 65 year-old's case has attracted a lot of international attention. Reporters representing media groups from around the world crammed into and outside the courtroom trying to get a picture of him."

She added: "Randall maintains that his video was leaked after robbers tried to blackmail him and failed.

"But one of the alleged robbers argues Randall gave him the video whilst trying to lure him into being his sexual partner back home in England."

Mr Randall told the BBC this claim was "ridiculous".

Actor Stephen Fry and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell have tweeted their support for Mr Randall.

In 2011, gay rights activist David Kato was beaten to death in Uganda, although police claimed the killing was not related to his sexuality.

The Ugandan parliament is considering legislation aimed at increasing penalties for homosexual acts. (BBC)

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